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Micro-credentials Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to provide direction on the proposing, design, approval, monitoring and review of micro-credentials offered by Victoria University (including Victoria University Polytechnic).

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Section 2 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) This Procedure complies with the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework.

(3) This Procedure complies with the requirements of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

(4) This Procedure complies with the requirements of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.

(5) This Procedure complies with the requirements of the National Microcredentials Framework (2022).

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Section 3 - Scope

(6) This Procedure applies to all Victoria University (VU) micro-credential offerings, whether delivered by VU alone, by VU with a partner organisation, or by a partner on behalf of VU.

(7) This Procedure does not apply to: 

  1. HE Award Courses (see Courses Lifecycle Policy and its Procedures);
  2. Non-Award Courses which are not micro-credentials, where learning is not assessed (see Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (HE) Procedure and Courses Lifecycle - Non-Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure.

(8) Where the micro-credential involves an arrangement with a third party, this Procedure must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Third Party Arrangements Policy
  2. Third Party Arrangements Procedure; and
  3. Third Party Arrangements - Third Party Arrangements Procedure (VET).

(9) Where the micro-credential is intended to form part of a credit-bearing stack for credit into an HE or VE award course, this Procedure must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Credit Policy;
  2. Credit - Academic Credit Procedure (HE).

(10) Where the micro-credential involves a certification that is a requirement for professional practice in a regulated profession, this procedure must be read in conjunction with:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Professional Accreditation and Industry Recognition Procedure; and,
  2. relevant external accreditation requirements.
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Section 4 - Definitions

(11) Continuing professional development (CPD)

(12) Lifelong learning

(13) Micro-credential

(14) Micro-credential stack

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(15) Micro-credentials Policy

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Higher Education Accountable Officer
Director, Academic Quality and Standards Responsible Officer

Part B - Micro-credentials structure

(16) Micro-credentials at VU are divided into four types for the purposes of proposal, design, approval and monitoring. These are:

  1. Category 1: Modular Learning Micros
    1. These micro-credentials offer: 
      1. portions of existing coursework units (HE) or skill sets (VET) as stand-alone learning opportunities; or
      2. content that is designed in alignment with AQF requirements to be capable of forming an equivalent part of an Award course unit.
    2. Modular Learning Micros are credit-bearing, often as part of a micro-credential stack (see below).
  2. Category 2: Professional Education Micros
    1. These micro-credentials focus on professional and industry relevant learning. 
    2. They may be developed in consultation with industry and/or professional accrediting bodies and often focus on re-skilling, upskilling, and continuing professional development (CPD).
    3. Micro-credentials in this category may be developed specifically for an organisation or an industry group, or may be open offering.
    4. Professional Education Micros are not credit-bearing.
  3. Category 3 : Certification Micros
    1. These micro-credentials offer certifications required for an aspect of working, safety, or professional practice (eg. First Aid, Construction Induction Card, Responsible Service of Alcohol).
    2. Certification Micros are not credit-bearing, but may in some cases be used to satisfy a requirement or prerequisite within an Award unit or course.
  4. Category 4: General Interest Micros
    1. These micro-credentials offer an opportunity for general interest lifelong learning.
    2. Micro-credentials in this category may be developed specifically for an organisation or interest group, or may be open offering.
    3. General Interest Micros are not credit-bearing.

Part C - Micro-credential Stacks 

(17) Specified micro-credentials may be “stacked” to provide academic credit towards study in a subsequently undertaken AQF qualification at VU. 

(18) Completion of a micro-credential stack does not guarantee admission into the unit or course for which it may provide credit. Admission remains subject to the requirements of the Admissions Policy and Admissions Procedure.

(19) As a general rule, micro-credentials carry a credit point translation value of three (3) points. In order to receive credit equivalent to one unit of study in a higher education course, participants must therefore complete four (4) specified and linked micro-credentials, which together form a “stack”. The basis for the assignment of credit is twelve (12) indicative hours of student learning equals one (1) credit point.

Part D - Micro-credentials Matrix

(20) The process for proposing, designing, approving and monitoring micro-credentials is determined by their category (see Part B).

(21) The following Matrix provides rules for each category and the process that must be followed.

  Category 1: Modular Category 2: Professional  Category 3:Certification   Category 4: General Interest
Parameters        
Volume of Learning  Based on point value for credit (aligned to AQF expectations) Defined by industry / professional body expectations  Established by external body  Not in excess of 15 hours total volume of learning
Potential participants - Potential future Award course students
- Lifelong / General Interest learners
- Workers interested in CPD 
-Industry/corporate clients (for tailored programs)
- Current students
- Members of the public requiring specific certifications for work or other purposes
- VU students requiring certifications as requisites for their course of study or professional practice
- Lifelong / General Interest learners
Fee / Cost Profile  Fee for service (public)
Current students may be able to add to CSP
Fee for service Fee for service
Current students may be able to add to CSP
Fee for service
 Management        
Proposal - Prepared by proponent
- Evaluated as per the Award Course unit process
- Prepared by proponent
- Evaluated by Higher Education Executive Committee (HEEC) or V Poly Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as appropriate 
- Prepared by proponent
- Evaluated by Higher Education Executive Committee (HEEC) or V Poly Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as appropriate
- Prepared by proponent
 - Evaluated by Higher Education Executive Committee (HEEC) or V Poly Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as appropriate
Design - "Stack" design required - Developed as part of full proposal  - Developed as part of full proposal - Developed as part of full proposal
Approval As for Award course units and courses - Endorsed by the Dean (Proposing College) and Director, Transnational Education Partnerships (for VU Sydney, offshore and partnered delivery)
- Approved by DVC HE or DVC VE (as appropriate)
- Endorsed by the Dean (Proposing College) and Director, Transnational Education Partnerships (for VU Sydney, offshore and partnered delivery)
- Approved by DVC HE or DVC VE (as appropriate)
- Approved by DVC HE or DVC VE (as appropriate)
Monitoring As for Award course units  As for Non-Award course units As for Non-Award course units  As for Non-Award course units

Part E - Business Case/Proposals 

(22) Micro-credentials are established following the submission of a concept proposal and business case. For Categories 2, 3 and 4 micro-credentials, this captures:

  1. the rationale for the offering;
  2. the Category of micro-credential (see Part B above);
  3. the proposed micro-credential design and title;
  4. the relationship between the proposed offering and existing micro-credentials, including whether or not it forms part of a new or existing micro-credential “stack”;
  5. the competitive market for the offering, including: 
    1. the cohort that the offer/course is pitched towards, e.g. school leaver, part-time student, international student or professional person;
    2. competitor analysis;
    3. evidence of demand (this could include an approach by an industry or professional body partner to develop a bespoke micro-credential); and
    4. relationship to or ability to enhance existing VU Award, Non-Award or micro-credential offerings.
  6. details of delivery method (online, face-to-face, or digitally enhanced remote delivery). This should include a rationale for why a particular method(s) has been selected;
  7. the resourcing requirements and availability of the resources to develop the offering;
  8. the proposed timing, mode, volume and duration of learning;
  9. the proposed assessment model; and
  10. whether the micro-credential offering is intended to be act as a complete or partial satisfaction of a requisite requirement for an Award course, and if so, which Award units it would relate to.

(23) For Category 1 micro-credentials, the Course Proposal and Business Case relates to:

  1. the rationale for the offering;
  2. the proposed micro-credential title;
  3. if relevant, the new use being made of a portion of an existing unit (which has already been through the appropriate unit and course approval process, and is already resourced and planned);
  4. the proposed credit to be assigned to the micro-credential, and which Award units it would relate to; and
  5. the relationship between the proposed offering and existing micro-credentials, including whether or not it forms part of a new or existing micro-credential “stack".

(24) All Course Proposals must be submitted to the the Dean (Proposing College) or Director, Transnational Education Partnerships (for VU Sydney, offshore and partnered delivery) in the first instance for endorsement.

Part F - Approval of Micro-credentials

(25) Category 1 micro-credentials, which are credit-bearing and tied to Award course content, are approved in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Procedures in the Courses Lifecycle suite:

  1. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Accreditation (HE) Procedure
  2. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Amendments (HE) Procedure
  3. Courses Lifecycle - Award Course Approval (VET) Procedure

(26) Category 1 micro-credentials and micro-credential stacks which are comprised of portions of existing and already approved Award course units may be submitted for an expedited approval process which considers the micro-credential as a new use rather than reconsiders the substantive content.

(27) Category  2 , 3 and 4 micro-credentials are approved as appropriate for the area proposing and operating them by: 

  1. the DVC HE on the advice of the Higher Education Executive Committee (HEEC); or
  2. the DVC VE on the advice of the Victoria Polytechnic Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Part G - Recordkeeping and Registering

(28) A register of all micro-credentials will be maintained as part of the University's course management system.

(29) The Register will contain information about:

  1. The name, type and credit point value (if any) of the micro-credential;
  2. The relationship of the micro-credential to other units of study, including its place in a micro-credential stack (if relevant) and its place in fulfilling prequisite certification requirements for Award courses or units;
  3. The responsible College or business area;
  4. The time period and frequency in which the micro-credential is offered;
  5. The nature of the resulting credential and the documentation that will be issued for it, in alignment with the Awards Regulations 2018 and its procedures related to testamurs, certificates, transcripts and graduation statements.